Canadian Soccer League
|Founded||1926 (as NSL)
1992 (as CNSL)
1998 (as the CPSL)
2006 (as the CSL)
|Divisions||CSL First Division
CSL Second Division
|Number of teams||23 (12 1st Div, 11 2nd Div)|
|Level on pyramid||N/A|
|Domestic cup(s)||Givova Cup|
|Current champions||York Region Shooters
|Most championships||Toronto Croatia (9 titles)
(1st in 1970)
|TV partners||Rogers Television|
|Website||Official CSL website|
The Canadian Soccer League (CSL) is an unsanctioned semi-professional soccer league in Canada. It was formerly sanctioned by the Canadian Soccer Association but now has affiliated itself with the organization known as Soccer Federation of Canada (SFC). It was formerly known as the Canadian Professional Soccer League (CPSL), and was officially re-branded on May 17, 2006. CSL teams do not currently participate in the Canadian Championship, which determines the Canadian entry into the CONCACAF Champions League, and cannot participate in any FIFA-sanctioned events.
- 1 Competition format
- 2 History
- 3 Match-fixing controversy
- 4 Current teams
- 5 CSL league executives
- 6 Championship finals
- 7 All Time (1998–12) CPSL/CSL Regular Season Records By Clubs
- 8 All Time (1998–2012) CPSL/CSL Playoff Records By Clubs
- 9 Ten Best Seasons (2001–Current: 18 games played or more)
- 10 Complete team list
- 11 See also
- 12 References
- 13 External links
The Canadian Soccer League season runs from April/May through October/November annually. There are currently 12 teams in the league that compete in a single table format. Teams play a balanced schedule of 22 games, with the top 8 ranked teams advancing to the playoffs. The playoffs operate as a two-leg quarterfinal home and away series, followed by a one-game semi-final for the four surviving teams and a one-game final to crown the CSL Champions.
The CSL's first season was in 2006. The forerunner of the CSL, the Canadian Professional Soccer League (CPSL) played its first season in 1998 by amalgamating four teams from the Canadian National Soccer League namely St. Catharines Wolves, North York Astros, London City, and Toronto Croatia with four expansion franchises (Mississauga, York Region Shooters, Glen Shields and Toronto Olympians).
In 2006, the change to the CSL was more than merely a cosmetic alteration. An international division was added, including bringing the Serbian White Eagles into the league, a new set of rules, regulations and a new constitution were established, the schedule format was changed, and the relationship with the OSA and QSF was upgraded; in early 2008, the CSL and the OSA established a "Memorandum of Understanding" which provided the CSL with an increased level of autonomy and independence from the governing body.
2007 saw the debut of the Trois-Rivières Attak, replacing the Laval Dynamites franchise. The team was the junior/reserve side for the Montreal Impact USL Squad. In 2008, Toronto FC of Major League Soccer, and owned by Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, entered their Academy Team (TFC Academy) into the CSL. As a result, the CSL is now affiliated with two of Canada's top three professional soccer franchises.
On May 12, 2009, the CSL formally announced that they had received conditional approval to be in membership with the CSA as Canada's national professional league. The vote by the CSA Board was unanimous by all provinces and territories. This the first league to receive this endorsement from the CSA in 16 years.
Following four and a half years as Commissioner, Cary Kaplan resigned following the 2009 Championship Game. Accomplishments during his tenure included rebranding as CSL, affiliation with Toronto FC and Montreal Impact; establishment of a Reserve Division; establishment of Television contract with Rogers and official recognition and approval from CSA.
Domenic De Gironimo was named as his replacement. Shortly following the completion of the 2010 final, De Gironimo announced his resignation from the league after only one season at the helm; citing irreconcilable differences.
Vince Ursini, who previously was Chairman of the former CNSL/CPSL until 2004, followed him in 2011. Mississauga, Ottawa, Kingston, Waterloo, Niagara and Windsor were all added to the CSL under Ursini's watch, expanding the league's membership to 16, the highest in several years.
On September 12, 2012, the CBC reported that a CSL game between the Trois-Rivières Attak and Toronto Croatia held in September 2009 was fixed. The report, which aired on the news program The National, revealed court documents showing that €15,000 ($18,000 CDN) in bribes were paid to several players on Toronto Croatia. The game was part of a larger match-fixing scandal in Europe in which six people were convicted.
On January 31, 2013, the Canadian Soccer Association announced they were withdrawing support of the league. On March 5, 2013, CSA formally decertified the league, however, due to adopting recommendations from the Rethink Management Report, and not from match-fixing. The league, however, fought the decertification based upon the failure of the CSA to provide adequate notice to the CSL and an opportunity for the league to comment on the CSA's approach. An arbiter agreed with the CSL and denied the CSA's attempt to decertify the league in 2013, allowing the CSL to play its 2013 season under CSA governance. Following the January 31, 2013 announcement, the Toronto FC academy teams withdrew from the league, followed by the Montreal Impact academy team.
On October 14, 2015, The International Centre for Sport Security released a report claiming that 42% of matches in the 2015 showed signs of suspicious betting activity, resulting in an estimated £4.5 million in potential “fraudulent betting profits”. All 12 teams had played in “suspicious” games on at least three occasions each. The report stated: “In the experience of the ICSS, the CSL has become a type of ‘rogue league’ that has not been seen before.”
These are the teams from the 2014 season:
|North York Astros||North York, Ontario||Esther Shiner Stadium||1990|
|Brampton City United||Brampton, Ontario||Victoria Park Stadium||2002|
|Kingston FC||Kingston, Ontario||Queen's West Field||2012|
|London City||London, Ontario||Hellenic Com Centre||1973|
|Niagara United||Niagara Falls, Ontario||Kalar Sports Park||2011|
|Burlington SC||Burlington, Ontario||Nelson Stadium||2013|
|SC Waterloo Region||Waterloo, Ontario||Warrior Field||2012|
|Serbian White Eagles FC||Etobicoke, Ontario||Lamport Stadium|
|Toronto Croatia||Mississauga, Ontario||Hershey Field||1956|
|York Region Shooters||Vaughan, Ontario||St. Joan of Arc Field||1998|
|Brampton City United B||Brampton, Ontario||Victoria Park Stadium||2002|
|Burlington SC B||Burlington, Ontario||Sherwood East||2013|
|Kingston FC B||Kingston, Ontario||Queen's West Field||2012|
|Milton FC||Milton, Ontario||Bishop Reding||2014|
|Niagara United B||Niagara Falls, Ontario||Kalar Sports Park||2011|
|SC Waterloo Region B||Waterloo, Ontario||Warrior Field||2012|
|Serbian White Eagles B||Etobicoke, Ontario||Eglinton Flats||1968|
|Toronto Croatia B||Mississauga, Ontario||Hershey Field||1956|
|Winstars Shooters FC||Woodbridge, Ontario||St. Joan of Arc Field||2014|
|York Region Shooters B||Vaughan, Ontario||St. Joan of Arc Field||1998|
CSL league executives
- Stan Adamson, Executive Director (2001–)
- Cary Kaplan, Commissioner, (2005–2009)
- Domenic Di Geronimo, Commissioner, (2010)
- Vincent Ursini, Chairman, (2011–)
This is a list of all Championship finals played so far. The final was called Rogers Cup from 1998 to 2009. Since 2010 it's called the Givova Cup due to sponsorship change.
|1998||St. Catharines Wolves||2–2 (aet) 4–2 (p)||Toronto Olympians|
|1999||Toronto Olympians||2–0||Toronto Croatia|
|2000||Toronto Croatia||2–1||Toronto Olympians|
|2001||St. Catharines Wolves||1–0||Toronto Supra|
|2002||Ottawa Wizards||2–0||North York Astros|
|2003||Brampton Hitmen||1–0||Vaughan Shooters|
|2004||Toronto Croatia||4–0||Vaughan Shooters|
|2005||Oakville Blue Devils||2–1 (aet)||Vaughan Shooters|
|2006||Italia Shooters||1–0||Serbian White Eagles|
|2007||Toronto Croatia||4–1 / 0–0 (4–1 Aggregate)||Serbian White Eagles|
|2008||Serbian White Eagles||2–2 (aet) 2–1 (p)||Trois-Rivières Attak|
|2009||Trois-Rivières Attak||0–0 (aet) 3–2 (p)||Serbian White Eagles|
|2010||Brantford Galaxy SC||3–0||Hamilton Croatia|
|2011||Toronto Croatia||1–0||Capital City F.C.|
|2012||Toronto Croatia||1–0||Montreal Impact Academy|
|2013||SC Waterloo Region||3–1||Kingston FC|
|2014||York Region Shooters||1–1 (aet) 5–4 (p)||Toronto Croatia|
All Time (1998–12) CPSL/CSL Regular Season Records By Clubs
|1||Toronto Croatia||16 (1998–)||321||169||78||74||641||400||+241||585||1.82||5||1||4|
|2||York Region Shooters||16 (1998–)||321||154||78||89||600||426||+174||540||1.68||9||2||2|
|3||SC Toronto||12 (2001–2012)||257||117||66||74||516||363||+153||417||1.62||11||2|
|4||Brampton United||12 (2002–)||257||112||56||89||509||392||+117||392||1.53||14||1|
|5||St. Catharines Wolves||16 (1998–)||321||107||68||146||426||611||−185||389||1.21||19||3|
|6||Serbian White Eagles||8 (2006–)||178||97||38||43||356||200||+156||329||1.85||3||2||2|
|7||Trois-Rivières Attak||8 (2001–03), (2005–2009)||165||86||34||45||331||217||+114||292||1.77||7||2||1|
|8||Astros Vasas FC||16 (1998–)||320||73||59||188||413||750||−337||278||0.87||24|
|9||London City||16 (1998–)||321||63||64||194||414||852||−438||253||0.79||26|
|10||Durham Storm||8 (1998-05)||143||69||15||59||319||266||+53||222||1.55||12||3||1|
|11||Windsor Stars||8 (2004–08, 2011-)||178||60||34||84||283||319||−36||214||1.20||21|
|12||Brampton Stallions||6 (2001–06)||123||43||31||49||191||205||−14||160||1.30||17|
|13||TFC Academy||5 (2008–2012)||111||40||23||48||180||176||+4||143||1.29||18|
|14||Ottawa Wizards||3 (2001–03)||59||44||10||5||159||39||+120||142||2.41||1||3|
|15||Hamilton Thunder||4 (2002–05)||79||38||22||19||147||88||+59||136||1.72||8||1|
|16||Montreal Impact Academy||3 (2010–2012)||72||34||17||21||143||91||+52||119||1.65||10||1|
|17||Brantford Galaxy SC||3 (2010–2012)||72||26||9||37||118||172||−54||87||1.21||20|
|18||Mississauga Eagles FC||3 (1998, 2011-2012)||62||24||9||29||115||117||−2||81||1.31||16|
|19||Durham Flames||5 (1999-03)||87||20||14||53||136||231||−95||74||0.85||25|
|20||SC Waterloo Region||2 (2012-)||44||21||5||18||98||70||+28||68||1.55||13|
|21||Kingston FC||2 (2012-)||44||20||3||21||92||91||+1||63||1.43||15||1|
|22||Capital City F.C.||1 (2011)||26||15||7||4||52||22||+30||52||2.00||2|
|23||Niagara United||2 (2012-)||44||13||7||24||61||90||-29||46||1.05||22|
|24||Hamilton Croatia||1 (2010)||24||13||5||6||51||27||+24||44||1.83||4|
|25||Milltown FC||1 (2010)||24||12||7||5||43||22||+21||43||1.79||6|
|26||Burlington SC||1 (2013-)||22||7||0||15||34||56||−22||21||0.95||23|
|27||Caribbean Selects||1 (2006)||22||1||3||18||15||87||−72||6||0.18||27|
All Time (1998–2012) CPSL/CSL Playoff Records By Clubs
|2||York Region Shooters||13/16||30||14||4||12||50||48||+2||46||1,533||3||1||3|
|3||Serbian White Eagles||8/8||24||11||2||8||38||33||+5||35||1,458||4||1||3|
|6||St. Catharines Wolves||6/16||12||4||2||6||15||20||−5||14||1,167||2||2|
|9||Brantford Galaxy SC||1/3||4||3||1||0||9||3||+6||10||2,500||7||1|
|11||SC Waterloo Region||1/2||3||2||1||0||8||2||+6||7||2,333||8||1|
|12||Capital City F.C.||1/1||4||2||1||1||8||3||+5||7||1,750||14||1|
|14||Montreal Impact Academy||2/3||5||2||1||2||7||5||+2||7||1,400||15||1|
|17||Astros Vasas FC||5/16||8||2||0||6||8||16||−8||6||0,750||17||1|
|23||Mississauga Eagles FC||1/3||2||0||0||2||1||8||−7||0||0,000||23|
Ten Best Seasons (2001–Current: 18 games played or more)
|1||Serbian White Eagles||2006||22||17||4||1||55||2.50||Lost Final|
|2||Ottawa Wizards||2002||19||15||2||2||47||2.47||Won Championship|
|3||Ottawa Wizards||2003||18||13||5||0||44||2.44||Lost Semi-final|
|4||SC Toronto||2011||26||20||3||3||63||2.42||Lost Quarter-Final|
|5||Toronto Croatia||2012||22||15||6||1||51||2.32||Won Championship|
|Vaughan Shooters||2005||22||16||3||3||51||2.32||Lost Final|
|Ottawa Wizards||2001||22||16||3||3||51||2.32||Lost Semi-final|
|8||Toronto Supra||2004||20||14||4||2||46||2.30||Lost Semi-final|
|9||Toronto Croatia||2011||26||18||5||3||59||2.27||Won Championship|
|Kingston FC||2013||22||16||2||4||50||2.27||Lost Final|
Complete team list
- Major League Soccer
- North American Soccer League
- USL Premier Development League
- USL Pro
- Canadian National Soccer League
- Canadian soccer pyramid
- "CSL past Champions". February 13, 2010.
- "Canadian Soccer League joins Newly-Formed Soccer Federation". canadiansoccerleague.ca. February 13, 2010. Retrieved February 13, 2010.
- Avey, Brian (August 20, 1997). "New Professional Soccer League Launched Canadian Professional Soccer League (Ontario Division) Will Kick-off in 1998". Ontario Soccer Association. Retrieved April 19, 2009.
-  Archived October 11, 2009 at the Wayback Machine
- Da Costa, Norman (August 21, 1997). "Canada to kick off pro league in May.". Toronto Star. Retrieved June 19, 2008.
- "CSL agreement means more independence". canadiansoccerleague.ca. February 28, 2008. Retrieved July 25, 2008.
- "EXCLUSIVE | Canadian soccer match fixed by global crime syndicate - Canada - CBC News". Cbc.ca. Retrieved February 17, 2014.
- Rycroft, Ben (January 31, 2013). "CSA cuts ties with Canadian Soccer League". CBC. Retrieved March 10, 2014.
- "Canadian Soccer League". Retrieved May 21, 2013.
- The latest names are used for clubs who had name changes, e.g. York Region was formerly known as Italia Shooters.
- The latest names are used for clubs who had name changes, e.g. Italia Shooters was formerly known as Vaughan Shooters.